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Types of Damages Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Case


An accident can happen in an instant, and in those brief moments the life of a loved one can be taken unexpectedly. If an accident in Tennessee takes the life of a family member, their loved ones can seek financial compensation through a wrongful death claim. While money can never replace the person lost, it can help surviving family members deal with the financial burdens that can come after a fatal accident. Wrongful death compensation covers many different types of damages, and an experienced wrongful death attorney can ensure that your family is fully compensated for their claims. To learn more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit, call or contact Mitch Grissim & Associates in Nashville today.

Medical Bills

Wrongful death compensation covers all final medical expenses associated with the fatal accident. This includes all ambulance transportation, surgery, medications, and other healthcare treatment that was performed to try and save your loved one’s life. In cases where the victim passes away days or weeks after the accident, medical bills can be significant.

Funeral and Burial Expenses

Damages for wrongful death also cover all reasonable expenses for funeral and burial costs. The viewing, burial, basic service fees, transportation, casket, embalming, and other preparation are all covered. Funeral and burial expenses routinely run between $6,000 to $12,000 depending on the circumstances.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering of the victim is also considered when calculating wrongful death damages in Tennessee. If the loss of life was not instant in an accident, this element of damages may be significant in a case. The court will review the extent of the fatal injuries and may require testimony about the amount of pain and suffering that the victim was in before their death.

Pecuniary Value of Life

The pecuniary value of life is the amount of lost future earning capacity minus their costs for daily living. This also includes the loss of consortium, which is the loss of love and affection from the deceased. Spouses and children of a fatal accident victim are entitled to claim loss of consortium damages in a wrongful death case. In Tennessee, loss of consortium damages are capped at $750,000 for a spouse unless there is a minor child, in which case the damages are increased to a $1,000,000 cap.

Punitive Damages

Tennessee law also allows for punitive damages in a wrongful death case. These are additional damages for situations where the party responsible for the death was particularly reckless, willful and wanton, or intentional in their acts. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the wrongdoer for their actions and to serve as a deterrent to others who would consider similar actions. Punitive damages are limited to $500,000 or twice the compensatory damages, whichever is greater.

Talk to Our Office

If you would like to speak with a zealous and experienced attorney about your wrongful death claim, call or contact the Nashville personal injury attorneys at Mitch Grissim & Associates today to schedule a free case consultation.

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